SKEGNESS Pier celebrates its centenary this year with a big new attraction on what remains of the open decking — the Star Wheel, weighing 23 tons, it was made at the Skegness factory of the pier owners, Robin G. Mitchell and Co Ltd.
The wheel is 60 feet in diameter and makes 17 revolutions a minute, which gives a speed of about 36 mph. The 18 cars each hold two people. They start by spinning horizontally but when the wheel rises to a vertical position, the passengers are upside down at the top. It takes three minutes to go up and return to the horizontal and is driven by two motors of 60 and 75 hp.
The pier opened on Whit Monday, 1881, was 1,843 feet long until wrecked by a storm in January, 1978 leaving the theatre marooned.
Since then the remaining deck has been widened to take a number of amusements and rides made by Mitchell’s.
Stretching from there to Grand Parade is a large entertainment complex (comprising the town’s biggest amusement arcade with a pool gallery, refreshments, bar, shops, sideshows, amusement machines and bingo), the Sands Showbar and the Variety Bar.
Sid Dennis is the resident compere and the Lynne Holmes Sound are the regular duo in the Variety Bar.